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Optus leads the way with Queensland's SmartNet
18 Dec 2003

The Queensland Government today announced Optus as a preferred supplier for the State's multimillion dollar SmartNet initiative.

The five-year agreement will see Optus develop a new network throughout Queensland to deliver competitive data telecommunications to the majority of the Queensland population.

Mr Chris Anderson, Chief Executive of Optus, said as the national telecommunications challenger, Optus was excited to be a part of the SmartNet initiative to connect Queenslanders and provide them with choice.

"The Government's appointment of Optus as a lead supplier for SmartNet is a significant step toward giving rural and regional Queenslanders a choice of telecommunications provider for the first time," he said.

"We have made a commitment to Australians to continually and consistently deliver competition.

Our commitment is about better service and state-of-the-art infrastructure - this agreement will see us deliver on that commitment."

Optus plans to provide competitive data services by developing fibre networks in Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton, and xDSL infrastructure in 30 sites in nominated regional towns.

Mr Anderson said the deal would bring immediate and long-term benefits to Queenslanders.

"The proposed infrastructure will lead to lower priced broadband services to many regional and rural communities, generate a number of jobs by introducing local resale of Optus' broadband services and create a new range of higher bandwidth services currently unavailable to many regional and rural areas.

"Optus has previously partnered with the Government on a number of initiatives, including the Brisbane to Cairns Reef Network and has plans to build up to 80 additional mobile base stations in regional areas. Under SmartNet Optus will be in a position to bring further competition in telecommunications to Queensland in a cost-efficient and cost-effective way," Mr Anderson said.

In addition, Optus has committed to a number of community initiatives under SmartNet. These include supporting a partnership program for approved organisations in rural and regional Queensland communities. One example of this is working with the Balkanu Group to deliver training and purchasing services to assist in the long-term sustainability and growth of the Cape York Digital Network. This is a powerful demonstration of Optus' ever growing competitive footprint.

Note to Editors:

The SmartNet deal will see Optus make a significant infrastructure investment in return for an expenditure commitment from the Queensland Government - a total of 22 agencies have acknowledged their support of the SmartNet procurement process.

Media contact:
Luisa Ford
Optus Corporate Affairs
Tel: (02) 9342 5045